About Me — a South Cheshire therapist
Born in Kent, in the past I've lived and worked in West Yorkshire and Hampshire and studied in London, Sheffield and Birmingham. For the last 17 years I've been based in South Cheshire, near the towns of Crewe, Nantwich and Sandbach. If I'm within reach of where you live I'd be pleased to see you.
Qualifications and experience in counselling
Here is a list of my qualifications which will hopefully be a guide to my experience and expertise:
- B.Soc. Sc - Joint Honours in Politics and Sociology from Birmingham University.
- C.Q.S.W. and Postgraduate Diploma in Social Science from Sheffield University.
- Diploma in Integrative Counselling from Leeds University.
- Foundation in Group Psychotherapy from Group Analysis North.
- Foundation Certificate in Gestalt Counselling and Psychotherapy from the Manchester Gestalt Center.
- Diploma in Relational Organisational Gestalt (ROG) from Relational Change
- Level 5 Diploma in Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy
- Practice Education in Social Work
I am a Guest Lecturer at Staffordshire University.
I have also had additional training in the following;
- Transactional Analysis - course 101
- Cognitive Analytic Therapy (C.A.T.)
- Clinical Supervision
I've practised as a relationship-based Social Worker and therapist for 26 years.
I have been a registered Social Worker since 1992, and qualified as an Integrative counsellor in 2000.
I have been employed by a Mental Health Trust, the NHS and Social Services and a charity involved in Palliative Care. These services have included a Mental Health Day Service, Democratic Therapeutic Community, Community Mental Health Team and Hospice.
I have worked as a volunteer counsellor at an Agricultural college, counselling students from 16-18, and with a local bereavement charity.
Wide experience in counselling and therapy
My social work training and background help me to think about you as a person within a social circle, for example your family, friends, or workplace. Sometimes our social network is supportive, and at other times it can cause stress and suffering. Having a good network of family, friends etc. can really help us to cope when things get on top of us.
I've seen people when they've been at their most mentally distressed and needed to go into hospital, and also at a doctor’s surgery, when they have been referred by their GP. I’ve been a counsellor for people who have wanted support over a short period of time (1 to 6 sessions) and also for those who have needed longer (up to a couple of years). The number of sessions is something we discuss when we first meet and regularly talk about, so that the number of counselling sessions is right for you. Importantly, we decide on this together. I’ve run support groups with a particular focus, for example, on coping with anxiety and also more structured groups, where members get to know each other well and the group becomes the means of therapy and support. Whilst an Approved Social Worker, I've spoken for my clients during Mental Health Act tribunals, written reports for the Court and acted as an Appropriate Adult when they have been interviewed by the police.
As a social worker working alongside doctors, nurses and other therapists, I've always promoted the value of living and learning together in a community and how our support networks can affect our mental wellbeing. This is sometimes referred to as a non-medical approach.
Most recently, I co-ordinated and managed a Hospice Bereavement Service. As I have training and experience in bereavement and loss, I was in a position to deliver tailor-made training programmes to a variety of people, including staff, students, carers and volunteers. I have also been able to mentor, educate and support my colleagues working in the fields of palliative care and cancer on the impact of bereavement. Have a look at my Counselling page to see more about how I work.
My philosophy in Training, Counselling and Therapy
In my view, mental and emotional distress is often a sign of something being out of balance. Counselling provides an opportunity to explore the whole of our lives and what is making us unhappy; it enables us to grow and heal. We all have vulnerabilities and insecurities, coping with the unpredictability of life, and this is what makes us human and connected to each other. I am interested in how groups, communities and staff teams work and how they can be encouraged to be supportive. I enjoy seeing my clients flourish and find new ways of coping. I am curious about how we can all continue to grow and develop, especially as we age and go through transitions in our lives, despite often very difficult circumstances. I have worked with teams and groups of staff at building emotional resilience.
As a person
I have a passion for our relationship with animals and nature and an interest in its therapeutic potential. As an artist, I often paint the natural world, landscapes and animals. Having had difficulties myself, I find other people’s stories of how they have also overcome adversity inspiring and illuminating. If you become one of my clients, I will offer you my life experience and calm temperament so we can begin a journey together.
May I help you?
If I can help with therapy or training, do please contact me either by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 07837411717. I'm happy to have a chat with no obligation, about what I can do to help. Or see my Contact page for more about fees, location and other practicalities.